Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Collection Intervention Intervention

Let's start this off on a very definitive tone. You know 98% of reality shows are staged...right? When the crew that would become Dread Central first left The Horror Channel, there was some talk about a reality show covering the vast horror genre, hitting conventions and such. I'd asked how the logistics of that would work out with all of us all around the country. There was laughter. It would all be thought out before hand and very little of it would actually be off the cuff. It's "reality TV, baby!!" No one actually said that, as no one at Dread Central is a flaming douche, but that's how I'd imagine reality TV producers talk.

Now we have the hotly debated Collection Intervention on the Syfy channel. Try as I might to not live twitter anything I'm watching, there is always some moment in the show where I'm ready to make an intervention of my own, were my TV a portal and not just a lookie-lookie box.

Episode 1: Host establishes that a woman's Star Wars collection is very dear to her. Host discovers the woman's stash of vintage Star Wars action figures. What could be MORE personal to her than this stash? Naturally, the host suggests these valuable artifacts be sold straight away. The expected near nervous breakdown ensues.

Episode 2: Host visits a man with a massive G.I.Joe collection. The host establishes that a lot of it is very valuable. Suggests collector take the more current items (among them are things from before the Street Fighter the math on that) to an outdoor flea market. Yes, why try and get top dollar for your cherished items when you can hock them off a card table for peanuts some hot afternoon?! I'm actually shocked this dude didn't chase the crew off his driveway with a shotgun.

Episode 3: A man with a comic book collection mighty enough to repel a zombie invasion and curated meticulously enough to be seen as professional work is scrutinized. Host goes over his collection and noted he has nothing Gold or Silver age. Host looks into camera and pronounces a TRUE collector collects Gold and Silver age comics because they are worth money. Paul loses his mind on the internet. In another segment, host combs over a psychotic Transformer collection, establishes the owner has a problem letting go of his toys, spots the most valuable convention exclusive in the lot and insists he sells it. ??!!! The next scene would be the collector on his roof with an assault rifle challenging anyone to try and defile his Fortress Maximus..were this collector as troubled as the editing would have you believe.

As I shouted expletives at the screen on a weekly basis with comic and toy fans gleefully retweeting my rants that echoed in their souls ...and the show's host Elyse Luray occasionally tweeting back to fortify her point of view in very quick, political statements (ie; the twitter brush off), something magical happened. It all fell apart. Folks who had attended the Anime convention where Dahveed (the Transformers mega-collector and Supa Pirate Booty Hunt animated series co-creator) was shown selling his precious plastics remarked the "buyers" were handed money, which they handed to Dahveed, who then handed it back to the show people. They also overheard individuals being told exactly what to say every step of the way. Was Dahveed actually helped by the show, making a dent in his overflowing collection allowing him to pay the rent? Doubtful. More importantly, is there even a problem here?? As my rants popped over to Facebook, folks who are close to Rancho Obi-Wan (ie; the place where all Star Wars merchandise lives forever and friends of the Star Wars obsessed lady) alluded there was more to those interactions than we were allowed to see. Perhaps all those sales in the closing moments of the show were staged as well? If this was the pilot episode of the show, maybe they tried to push a little too hard to have the collector sell her toys to the point where cast and crew were booted from her home? That seems like a strong possibility, seeing as how upset the collector was on more than one occasion that we were actually allowed to see. Of course I'm just speculating based on the whispers in my ear, but I suspect any day now the whole truth will just flood out...Non Disclosure Agreements be damned. Why do I think this? It is already happening.


Our buds over at BleedingCool ran a story titled "How Master Collector became Collection Intervention" this past Thursday. In it, they provide direct quotes from a gentleman named Marlo Alquiza (inker for DC Comics) who was featured in the season finale and couldn't help but remark on what he saw...

Let's just say when I was approached, the show was called Master Collectors... after the shoot, I find out it's gonna be called Collection Intervention! WTF! Then there's all the crap they made us do. My wife was still jet lagged from coming home the day before from the Philippines, so she was not happy! My left foot was injured which is why I'm now in a cast, but they didn't care. It was 3 days of hell! Oh boy!

Adding to the plot, a forum poster named "Malone" stepped up, claiming to be the guy with the massive comic book collection. He remarks...

I never would have signed up for a show about intervention and neither would my fiancé. All the things said in this story happened to us and more.

Calling this show an intervention is an insult to people with actual obsessive problems and addictions. My collection, and I'm sure many of the others, is immaculately cared for. Any mess or clutter you saw, at least in my episode, was due to their PAs "decorating" my quite spacious living room.

They also left out the part where I said in Chicago, ALL my books were in a storage unit. It's just since we've come to LA that I've had them in our apartment, and that's only until we get our work situation settled. They knew all of this and ignore it for a narrative.

I wasn't angry that someone wanted me to sell books, I was pissed they lied to us. You can see on the show, she says " what if you could sell to a collector who values the full runs" and the next day they want me to run a booth so strangers can cherry pick my books.

Fuck that. And that's what I was yelling about. That they just misled me from the start. My tirade went on for a while, including a fair share of f-bombs.

The show said "joe didn't sell anything at frank and sons..." crock o shit too. We absolutely sold, they have two hours of footage of my Fiancé and I talking comics with a bunch of different people.

The Quasar books were the running joke. I was selling them for super cheap and no one wanted them. Which is the callback joke at the comic shop. I don't care about the quasars, that's why it was funny in the moment, but lost when they drop the setup references at Frank and Sons.

Soooo, this begs several questions..the first being will this show see a second season despite this bubbling controversy? I'd put my money on yes. The debate will only fuel the fires and have more people talking about the show. NOW..should this talk escalate into more people coming forward to flat out break their Non Disclosure and state the show is a total fake, would that take the show down? Probably not! If every person on the air came forward and said the show is 100% staged AND they were lied to AND the story was picked up by the Hollywood Reporter, the producers might call it a wrap, high-fiving each other as they are congratulated over having their little show make so many waves. Meetings begin immediately for a NEW show that is similar and now, "totally not fake." So what should you take away from this? It's TV. As rational, logical thinking machines, I expect you take everything you see on TV with a grain of salt and if you are interested enough, you'll look into the things you've just seen to get a more comprehensive story. We live in an age when even the news is suspect, so it should be no great surprise that the only thing you can count on is the honesty of a well produced TV drama....100% staged and scripted for your viewing pleasure and not pretending to be anything more. Those dramas actually respect their fans and thank them for watching at every turn. There's something to be learned there..for TV producers, I mean. For you, the viewing audience, take this to heart. If someone wants to put you on TV, they are looking to exploit you in some way. Sure, there are varying degrees of exploitation and when the agreement is to mutual satisfaction, it can be great. Just know what you are getting into. If you don't like the idea of someone editing your words into a sentence you never spoke, then don't sign on the dotted line. More importantly, if you don't want some Hollywood tool scattering your awesome collection around your living room to make it looks like there may be actual feral cats living in your Thundercats Cat's Lair...then lock your doors, turn out the lights, and wait for Elyse Luray to give up and go home.


  1. I encourage every reader of this to run to the Skullbrain forums & Super 7 which is owned and run by Brian "The Wicket Snatcher" Flynn and featured in the picture above in the black sweatshirt and petition him to give Wicket back to the Star Wars woman in episode 1. Elsye---wow you have so much Star Wars stuff, you should sell some of the more recent stuff----Elsye 20 minutes later---Here is my "friend" Brian he wants to cherry pick your vintage loose figures....

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